Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Globalization Real.0

I disagree with Thomas P.M. Barnett on a couple of issues. Namely, the Persian Mullahs and the Super Sweet Missile Shoot 'em Down Shield. A lot of my disagreement probably has to do with where we are in the three stages of life: tactical, operational, strategic.

I'm defiantly moving through the operational phase, ready to nit pick the strategic. Different strokes.

So I got to tell you, he misses the mark by a country mile, here:

Hollywood's globalization proceeds apace

He's referencing the worldwide release of Pirate's of the Caribbean: End of the Investments. My wife's friend caught the movie in Eastern Europe. She, the friend, was bored. Her, the friend's, boyfriend fell asleep.

PoC was released worldwide, because it sucked. And it needed to suck in revenue before it died in the home market. Mission accomplished, I guess.

A Hollywood serious about globalization would leverage internet 2.0, get rid of the DVD "regional coding" and push a more optimistic world view. Oh, and not take cash from Hugh Chavez.

Just my two dracma.


"Science Fiction in the National Interest."

If Pournelle and Niven collaborate, then it's bound to be good:

The writers make up a group called Sigma, which Andrews put together 15 years ago to advise government officials. The last time the group gathered was in the late 1990s, when members met with government scientists to discuss what a post-nuclear age might look like, says group member Greg Bear. He has written 30 sci-fi books, including the best seller Darwin's Radio.

And don't forget to check out Dan Simmon's latest: A Modest Proposal.....

Pretty Politics

Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin is sort of a cutie. And evidently, she's pretty popular.

No figuring for peoples taste. I mean, she's no looker like Alaskan Senator Ted Stevens. A man who has a thousand recipes for pork shoulder roast.

(Trust me to find odd linkages)

Run, you magnificent bastard.....


Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Blown away

I'm dedicated to the cult of mac. I keep a jar of arsenic laced kool aid by the bed stand, to ward off the random comet.

But even I have to admit this is neat:

Digitizing papyrus.

Good read

On good writing.

Especially the part on how the telegraph influenced American writing techniques.

I wonder if lolcats will do the same.


UPDATE: Booking a link to doubletongued.

UPDATE II: Oddly enough, the KC Star comes out with an article about Hemingway and the KC Star writing style, referenced by Leo, above. Let me say, KCMO is one of those little undiscovered gems. From Ward Parkway to the Plaza, and parts in between, a good place. Cute cheerleaders too.

Aggressive diplomacy

Well, the Paris Hilton scion of religious families, Moqtada al-Sadr, is back from his sojourn in Iran.

Nothing to do with Guardian article about Iran's coming summer offensive, of course.

FOUR BANGER Petraeus discusses this in a recent Army Times article:

In an exclusive May 18 interview with Military Times, Petraeus said the involvement of the Iranians is “absolutely nefarious. It is hugely damaging to Iraq. It is fuelling the Shi’a militia side of things and causing enormous problems for Iraq.”

The “secret cells” are “Sadr special ops,” Petraeus said. “But they’re different from JAM,” he added, using the acronym for the Mahdi Army’s Arabic name, Jaysh al-Mahdi.


Petraeus said he is “mystified” that there is a debate in the U.S. over whether Khamenei knows about the Quds Force’s activities fomenting violence in Iraq.

“He can’t not know,” Petraeus said, noting that Brig. Gen. Qassem Suleimani, commander of the Quds Force, reports directly to Khamenei, not to Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad. “It’s a massive operation. ... There are all kinds of different elements of the Quds Force that are engaged in it. If he doesn’t know about it, it’s the most out-of-control operation in the world. And if he does know about it, of course, it’s horrific.”

Yesterday, we aggressively, decisively, engaged the Diplomatic Corp of Persian in a broad based meeting of minds. We got rolled.

In other news, President Bush announced, well, something about the murder of civilians in the Darfur region of Sudan. The usual suspects, just a day or so claiming that President Bush DO MORE TO END GENOCIDE AND STUFF (tm) are now arguing that it's either to much or too late. China intends that the spice flow, internationalist intend that the power flow.

My take away from these twin events? Aggressive diplomacy kills. Unless you're wearing a pinstripe suit.

Monday, May 28, 2007

NEPMAN and Wiki

Wow. Caught this post on LGF:

LONDON (Reuters) - Coping with the ravages of global warming will cost $50 billion a year, and the rich nations who caused most of the pollution must pay most of the bill, aid agency Oxfam said on Tuesday.

That immediately made me think about the NEPMEN. In "Soviet Times," right after the revolution, the policies of confiscation, elimination of property rights and restrictions on general freedoms led to mild starvation and light cannibalism. So Lenin came up with the bright idea to restore some of the freedoms, in order to make things like food. He called this the New Economic Program. NEP. People who participated in this were called NEPMEN. They were denied the "vote," in Soviet Russian. I read this in a "book."

Produce, but don't participate, it seems.

I was going to comment on the LGF post above, and give you a tasty, well sourced (soylent green free) wiki on NEPMAN. Instead, I came across this:

A nepman was a fish person who invaded the young USSR using spearguns, tridents, magical tridents that could shoot magical beams, pufferfish, sword fish spines, guns powered by electric eels and shark-tooth swords. They were later pushed back into the sea by the Communist regime after the 1934 invasion.

Urban dictionary is not much better:

NEP-man. A capitalist pig, slacker, and over all scoundrel. This term was used to describe the entrepreneurs who profited from the new economic policy (NEP) that was introduced after the Russian civil war. Since the NEP was seen as contrary to the revolution, being called a nepman (or woman) was a grievous insult in Bolshevik Russia.


Free shi* sucks.

Muddy boots v. Pinstripe suits

Go small:

Or Grand Bargain.

Me? I'll take small.

Beats a Burqa

I'm not a fan of slavery in general, or Jabba the Hut in particular. But you have to admit, jolly old Jabba had a certain flair, superior to our run of the mill terrestrial tyrants:

Happy Birfday, you Star Wars freeks!!

(Affectionately, from a Star Trek geek)

Blog pulse

  • Michelle, from ASV, is slowly putting a toe in the water.
  • The Cold War thaw, between Instapundit and Boing Boing is chilling, yet again. The only blogger on BB who deigns to link to IP, the lovely Xeni, backtracks in the face of Chavez Apologists, and provides "another point of view" on censorship and tanks (actually Armored Personnel Carriers) rolling through Caracas. "Dear Leaders" have short curriculum vitaes. They always begin with "killed X number of people" and end with "died violently at the hands of..." Chavez will be no different.

More of those strange holes

Book my earlier post about those strange holes in Russia with this latest from neatorama:

What is that black spot on Mars? Turns out its an entrance to a really, really deep cave on the planet.

Where's H.G. Wells when you need him?


The "counter rocket, artillery, mortar" systems, the C-RAMs, continue to fascinate me. An enemy tactic, reduced to a solvable physics equation. The C-RAMs shoot down incoming fire, with a sort of "brrrrrrrpppp" rapid fire.

Whodda thunk, when the CWIS was originally designed to shoot down incoming Bear and Badger missile swarms that these puppies would be in the sand protecting ground bases? Nice.

Of course, they'll do until something better comes along:

Memorial Day

This day in history, 1863:
On May 28, 1863, the new regiment marched onto a steamer and set sail for Port Royal, South Carolina. The unit saw action right away, taking part in a raid into Georgia and withstanding a Confederate attack near Charleston. On July 18, 1863, Shaw led a bold but doomed attack against Fort Wagner in which Shaw was killed and the 54th suffered heavy casualties.

The 54th was memorialized in the movie "Glory." By the Statehouse, in Boston, you'll find their bas relief memorial:

The 54th fought under less than ideal conditions, in pursuit of a perfect idea.

Memorial day.

This is for all you new people: I only have one rule. Everyone fights. No one quits. You don't do your job, I'll shoot you myself. You get me?


Sunday, May 27, 2007

When I was a phrap....

I thought I had a clever thing going.

Every time, in middle school, I got a grade that was less than par, I had to take it home to show my dad. Kept the parental unit in tune with my progress. Smarte guy that I was, I stuffed the bad test/paper into the seat on the bus. Buses at that time had those little break away seats that went forward. Plenty of room to hide the evidence.

Well, eventually, the bus driver told me I had to take all those papers out, and take them home. Seems he wasn't cleaning them out, as my nefarious plan required. He let them accrete. So, on that day, I gathered up all the papers, and dumped them in a trash can, near my bus stop. Pleased with my cleverness, I went home.

I had dinner, watched some t.v., and took my bath to get ready for bed. It was then my dad said, "let's go for a walk." I put some clothes over my p.j.'s and followed my dad outside. My little mind was confused. It wasn't until we rounded the corner to the bust stop, that my little mush of a mind gelled.


My dad made me take all my papers out of the trash can, smooth them out, and bring them home.

Lesson learned. Parents need be involved. A point/counterpoint to "free" edumacashion.

As a sidebar to my little anecdote, Stophomework movements are total bunk.

By design.

Suborning Dr. Yueh

I'm about half way through "Loyal Comrades, Ruthless Killers," mentioned a couple, two, three post ago.

Good read. Downside? The sameness. Huh?

Since Robespierre first put steel to neck, there's been a certain sameness to the state as a machine of murder. To these so called "revolutions" against the law and reason.

Loyal Comrades, Ruthless Killers details the um, excesses, of the nascent Soviet. And guess what? Not all those excesses had to do with a lack of consumer goods. Plenty of rape, murder and sadism. A pattern.

Hey, let's take over in five simple steps:

1. Be indirect about your goals.
2. Infiltrate and indoctrinate.
3. Gain a lever of power.
4. Establish some sort of NKVD, Stasi, Mukhabarat or RIAA.
5. Fu*k up.

Probably a little more complex, but the general arc of mass movements, these past few centuries.

I'd like you to listen to "This American Life" episode, titled "81 Words." The blurb:

In 1973, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) declared that homosexuality was not a disease simply by changing the 81-word definition of sexual deviance in its own reference manual. It was a change that attracted a lot of attention at the time, but the story of what led up to that change is one that we hear today, from reporter Alix Spiegel. Part one of Alix's story details the activities of a closeted group of gay psychiatrists within the APA who met in secret and called themselves the GAYPA ... and another, even more secret group of gay psychiatrists among the political echelons of the APA. Alix's own grandfather was among these psychiatrists, and the president-elect of the APA at the time of the change.


This isn't a post about homosexuality, per se. I don't have a dog in that fight. Our dog, Louis, is neutered. Instead, listen to the audio as a lesson in suborning. A harmless insight into "how it's done."

I always remark the the Civil Rights Movement was about securing a seat on the bus, not blowing the damn thing up. I further think that, unfortunately, Martin Luther King was unique. At least, looking at today's movements, that's my takeaway.

The Cat posts on "The Call of Cthulhu" and remarks:

Poor men, these al-Qaeda, they who would remake the world in their ostensibly new vision only to find it had been templated long ago by some sad and ancient corruption.

Pretty much. For now, that "ancient corruption" remains hidden, a Keyser Söze of our time. What I find interesting, is the application of accelerating change to political thought. Somehow, we're getting smarter, in bits, about what lies behind the curtain. But that's probably for the sequel. As it stands, we'll still assign names like "violent break away faction loosely affiliated with the moderate wing of" whatever, and expect that to have meanings. Reality makes as*es of us all.


Right, Dr. Yueh?

Saturday, May 26, 2007

I guess the toilet water wasn't good enuff for him.

Silly dog.

On My Desk

Stopped by Barnes and Noble to see if they had any good Gimp books. Short answer, no. Ended up picking up a generalized book of digital cartoons.

Came across Brian Doherty's "Radicals for Capitalism," but at thirty-five dracma for the hard cover, I found my revolutionary zeal dimming a bit. I can wait for the paperback.

Ended up walking out with this little gem:

I didn't know Barnes and Nobles published books. And at eight dracma, its collectivism in action a steal.

Friday, May 25, 2007

To be Superrich for the day....

The Wally Island.

Mount some .50 cals and MK19s (to deal with Pirates) and you're good to hook.

From the dollar p0rn site, Born Rich.

Regardless, she's still hot.

Even if a bit loopy:

"We're a joint ticket, a team. We share the same perspective of America and the world."


"Anyone who does not support the Department of Peace, isn't supporting putting a stop to domestic violence."

Nice trip down the rabbit hole. Interesting read.

Liz Kucinich.


Comicspace, the myspace for cartoons, has been down for awhile. Seems Josh, the guy who runs the site, had some issue with his hosting provider.

So he moved.

Note to the anonymous backends: there are PlentyofFish out there, so be good.

(UPDATE: The PoF Blog)

Communing with nature

So today I got to observe a pod of windmillus propelli in their breeding ground. I spent anywhere from several minutes to five hours observing these gentle creatures. When you are caught up in the magic of their lives, time loses meaning.

Here's a family cluster cresting the asphalt.

Here, some yearling windmillus propelli are practicing "skating."

A close up.

What amazed me was how gentle, and non agressive these creatures were. Even when I approached them their reaction was, to say the least, subdued.

So I wonder, what is it that SENATOR Kennedy fears about them?

It it just a lack of understanding?

Hero of the Capitalist Revolution

I've always looked up to Michael Moore as a sort of Hero of the Capitalist Revolution. Mike, as I like to call him, is the epitome of lazy is fair capitalism. He makes his money in the last, truly freewheeling, unregulated commodity left in Merka----"speech." Because "speech" is so fundamental to our way of life, regulating it is generally recognized as a bad. Mike, as I like to call him, spotted the sweet seam long ago and been capitalizing on it ever since. It's bought him sweet homes in Michigan and New York, a sweet investment portfolio and above all, fame among the masses. God bless him. I think if Mike, as I like to call him, had been alive one hundred years ago, he'd have owned a meat packing plant and extended fair and equitable employment opportunities to kids as young as eight. With health care! He's just that kind of guy.

So it was with some sadness that I read Mike's latest:

Michael Moore: Then Kucinich, but he doesn’t go far enough. He supports what he’s calling a single- payer nonprofit plan, but from my read, it would still allow [private] entities to control things, as opposed to the government. What’s wrong with the government? The right wing and the G.O.P. have done a wonderful job brainwashing people that government doesn’t work, and then, as Al Franken says, they get elected and proceed to prove the point.

Mike, as I like to call him, should be given a wet willy for thinking "government good," especially in light of his role as a free wheeling capitalist.

Awhile back, I read Larry Niven's book A World out of Time. The story takes place in Niven's THE STATE timeline. By 2190, THE STATE has expanded across the world creating some sort of gray harmony. Niven describes THE STATE's monopoly on power as being a sort of Water Empire.

By controlling something as fundamental as "water" a state's power becomes overwhelming. Take the Iraq Oil for Food Program. Sure, on the one hand, OFF was a sweet slush fund for petite for global bureaucrats. The flip side was how the entire population of Iraq was pushed onto Saddam's (who's dead now, by the way) "dole." It's hard to revolt when someone, in the power of the state, can simply close the fridge or turn off the faucet. Durante's Ukraine. I suspect that something similar is happening in North Korea. The two to three million that starved to death in NOKO during the nineties? A controlled burn.

As a Sovereign Individual (yes, I do have a flag) I see four or five things I need to do:

1. Defend myself.
2. Shelter myself.
3. Feed myself.
4. Care for myself.
5. Trim my toenails, every couple of months.

Pretty much the bottom rung of Maslow's hierarchy. I do those things, and I can pretty much tell anyone to go pound sand. Now of course, this is total independence. Society is much more interdependent today so, for example, "feed myself" means being handy with the old TPS Reports and less handy with a cross bow.

But the principle remains.

I do those five things, and I maintain a measure of control. If the Sovereign State steps in to "help out," then the Sovereign Individual has to retreat. The more the government does, the more it controls. That's not fringe nuttiness, it's history.

I'm sure Mike, smart man that he is, knows that fact. And it's probably his (unstated) point. As for me, I'd like the government to do a little less, in principle, and no harm, in practice.

At the end of the day, I'd love to make some Michael Moore Cash. I don't need no stinkin' government standing in my way.

Come on, Mike, give over!! I've got a permit pending to start an open face coal mine in Yellowstone Park.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Down Size This?

Mini Tunguska Events? Kidding. Just need to book this link where I can find it, again. I'll also need this reference to Lake Vostok. Just an admin post.

Via EnglishRussia

Household Alert!!!

Snap. The level of cumin in the house has reached an all time low. This will seriously impact future lamb grilling enterprises.

Must rectify.

Pajama's Warfare

(inside the blog joke)

Glenn Reynold's weighs in on Robb's new book, "Brave New War," in his article titled "Open Source Warfare."

It's an interesting take, weighing his book, An Army of Davids, as the yin to Robb's yang.

I'm a prodisestablishmentarianist, at least when it comes to the separation of government and power. Here's how I figure.

Yin: When governments fail, people suffer.
Yang: Governments don't go to heaven, people do.

Let's cut out the middle man.

At it's best, government is full of fumbling old men and women in a caretaker role. At it's worst, government is full of fumbling old men and women with Great Ideas to Do Something, Now.

Go small.

Robert E. Lee, Rommel, Yamamoto, Guderian were all brilliant military leaders. They were also on "the other side." The American response? We sat on their asses.

Grant on Richmond. The Sherman Tank versus the Leopard Variants. Victory ships.

Today we have Comanche's (since discontinued) in war, and Grand Bargains, in Diplomacy. We have a lot of lessons to unlearn. The "Fightin' 5TH Bureaucracy (Airborne)" is fit only for the dreams and drawing rooms of Delta Charlie.

Instead of silver bullets, we need to get back to putting lead down range.

I'm sure we'll get there in time.


Sunny Daze

Okay, the weather is nice up here, in our neck of the woods. Helps you to forget there's the "world of the real" out there.

Today, I kept the kids after school and proceeded to lecture them. They were a bit upset. And to be honest, I couldn't give a damn.

Look, the current narrative, the one that fetishizes Gitmo, Abu Graib, Haditha, Naw'Leans and that town in Kansas, can bite me. That's all pissing in the wind.

At the end of the day, the generalized nuttiness that describes Ansar Al Islam Fatah Hizbullah Party of Truf spreads. Lebanon, Iraq, Afghanistan, Saudi (yes even Saudi), they're all parts in the same play.

The spread of general nuttiness.

Here's the Smoking Gun's latest. A torture manual from Iraq.

Of course, the evils perpetrated by the Capitalist Entity are probably far worse, right?

Me, I say this: if you find yourself about to be captured by the Differently Opinionated, I recommend you save the last bullet for the one you love.

Hey, maybe someone can make a folk song out of that.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

We have bumper stickers!!

Every once in awhile, Mark Steyn mentions the "COEXIST" bumper stickers, in his neck of the woods. Sitting in traffic, today, I got to see another one. Wow, all the world's great religions, reduced to a bumper sticker.

What amused me, of course, was the raising of, let's call it "Peacifism" (as distinct from Pacifism) right up there with all the rest.

I have no idea, however, what the "e" represent. Maybe he'll know.


Today I asked my subaltern what he knew about "Year Zero." You know, the Cambodian holocaust, the killing fields, and whatnot.

Collectivism in action.

He told me he never heard of year zero, and that it was funny, because he had taken a course on Vietnam in college.

So I asked him if the course was all about My Lai, and such.

Pretty much, was his response.


Training, not education.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Running the Numbers.....

Well, it came up in conversation, so I had to run the numbers.

The people per square mile (p/sqm) in New York City, by the 1990 census, was about 27-28,000 p/sqm.

If you took everyone in the world, I used six point five billion people, and shipped them to an urbanized Texan Arcology, the population per square mile would be about 24,000 p/sqm. Plenty of room to stretch your arms.

Downside, everyone would have to wear black, learn some clever witticisms, and eat at overpriced sushi restaurants.

Upside, we could break up the rest of the planet for spare parts.

So, I wondered, we're overcrowded how?

Born Rich

Unfortunately, for my wife, she "married poor."

But her new favorite site is Born Rich. Interesting. Look, if I was doing the Work of the People, and had some spare Proletariat Cash to throw around, I'd probably drop for this, as my summer dacha:

Of course, I'd have to get there:

Ahhh, but to dream (For The People!!)

“The greatest enemy of individual freedom is the individual himself.”

From the Ministry of Plenty, let me present Saul Alinsky.

Small memebump, but NPR had a piece on the Mr. Alinsky. Seems he has some acolytes in IMPERIAL SENATORs Hillary Rodham Barrack Clinton Obama. Fair enough.

I'll bet he has some interesting quotes attached to his name.

Willfull Iran

Going to make for a hotter than expected summer, with winds blowing from the east:

Iran is secretly forging ties with al-Qaida elements and Sunni Arab militias in Iraq in preparation for a summer showdown with coalition forces intended to tip a wavering US Congress into voting for full military withdrawal, US officials say.

Plausible. Look, I can buy Persian involvement in a peaceful Middle East. Just not these Mullahs and their Padrasan crazy eddies. But that's long term.

In the short term? Oh joy.....

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Small notes....

Busy days, and hence the absence of posts.

But tonight, searching the web for Kittah p0rn, I came upon the inestimable Lew Rockwell website (don't ask how). Lew had a post up linking himself to the candidacy of Ron Paul.

A sheer, unadulterated joy descended upon me, as I read the post. Finally.

Look, Ron Paul ne Rockwell is to freedom and free enterprise what the collective left is to good shepard environmentalism. Short answer, nothing. Long anwser, basically the same pathologies, the same true believer movementeers, in sheeps clothing. But it's not all bad.

I, for one, welcome our Rockwellian overlords. Strong yin to the collectivist yang. To paraphrase the former aircraft carrier Marshal Foch, "enemies to my left, enemies to my right, the situation is excellent. I attack!!"


In other news, the Little Mermaid has gone all demure.

I never got around to seeing her when I was in Skoal Copenhagen. First off, it was balls cold, and second off, there was this little party in Malmo I had to get to. But it distresses me to see her so covered. Sigh.

Cashews all around.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Al Gore....

...clean your office. Seriously, sir, how do you find stuff among the crap. You're using a Mac, so just digitize everything, and use "spotlight" to find important documents.

It's better on the environment. Or so I hear.

(From Time via A comment dig)

Section 101(a)(15)(H)(ii) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(H)(ii)), as amended by Title IV


This is a law I am meant to obey? Come on, who writes laws like this?

Don't go 55mph in a 75mph zone, I got. Don't covet thy neighbors jet boat, check. Consider April 15th the Sabbath, and keep thy wallet holey. Yup.

But "Section 101(a)(15)(H)(ii) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(15)(H)(ii)), as amended by Title IV?"

Spare me machine readable laws.

Look, I'll always maintain that there are probably more Americans outside the border than inside. My wife, a recent immigrant, is a prime example. Plenty of Americans born "in the wrong place."

But I keep scratching my noggin about WHY we NEED a COMPREHENSIVE IMMIGRATION BILL NOW,NOW, huh, NOW!! I mean, were there like a total of four or five illegal immigrants last week, and some time around last Monday, that number tripled to twelve million.

I feel like up I'm out back doing some light yard work, and my neighbor screams "WE NEED SOME COMPREHENSIVE IMMIGRATION REFORM NOW!!" I'd probably respond, "Why, is the COMPREHENSIVE IMMIGRATION REFORM house on fire?"

Geez. I haven't seen such a tempest in a teapot since Mssrs. McCain and Feingold carried water for the Pew Charitable Trust.

An offering to the gods...

Probably some Cargo Cult.

New Math

Retired General x (Think Tank + T.V. Appearance) = Increase Credibility

I think I got that. 'Cause, you see, General's on active duty are distrustful careerists, unwilling to buck the system, man. I only wanna hear from General's who echo my perception.

At least, that's how I interpret Scott Adams latest.

Couple of days back, he was advising the "18-21" cohort not to enlist. Seems the MILKILL haven't bought enough MRAPs, those sweet engines of armor, to replace all thirty five thousand HUMVEES in the inventory. Set aside for a moment that the buy set for 9,000 nicely replaces all the up-armored HUMMERS in Iraq (Alaskan Defense're on your own), he's probably right that an active national industrial base could provide those 9,000 quicker than the two year planned buy.

But, alas, an active industrial base requires an engaged populace focused on the challenges ahead.

Navel gazing (Iz i's supporting da troopes enuff/where be da massively destructive weapons) seems, so well, 2005ish.

Move along, my children. Challenges await.

The Dark Side of the Force

I finally dropped for the Wacom tablet.

A nice intro to the electronic hearts. Hopefully, if my kidney's fetch a good price on the open market, I'll be able to afford one of these:

Hell, I'd even throw in one lung.

I'm using Gimp, a free Adobe alternative, as my base drawing program. We'll see how that works out.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Praetorian Guard..... your office.

Mayor Bloomberg was rumored, earlier today, to be tossing a billion dracma into the ring, in a bid for the Presidency (sorry for the passive voice). Looks like he's nixing the idea.

Good. It means the grain supplies from Aegypt are assured for another season.

In other news, sometime blogger, radio host, actor, delivers a nice slap down to Hero Of The Capitalist Revolution, Michael Moore.

Odd day.

Got some good advice from a buddy. He told me to, basically, "chill, and be accepting of others views." I thought that over, and said, "balls!!" Consensus is corrosive, I responded.

Of course, dood makes about triple my takehome, so maybe he has a point.

But here's to me doubting that.

Monday, May 14, 2007

It's worth a twenty dollar steak dinner at Sizzler...

On me.

If we solve our differences with the Mullah's of Persia, absent war (not that there's anything wrong with that). Let me put these two article together.

The Cat:

Speaking carefully to avoid directly challenging the Iranian government, he and several fellow merchants suggested that Iraq's Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani holds more spiritual sway because of his lifelong commitment to quietism. That is the school of thought that says Shi'ite leaders should stay out of government, and Sistani has stuck to it despite the great temptation to wade into the chaos of Iraqi politics.


A member of the Iranian delegation said the ban was related to an Al-Jazeera programme which was deemed insulting to Iraq’s Shiite Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani. “It was because Iran’s parliament has ordered a ban on dealing with Al-Jazeera due to its offence to Ayatollah Sistani,” Navid Behrouz told AFP.


(Blueprint For Action and Brave New War)

Okay. I've got both books in the can, and, to be honest, I don't see much of a difference. But then I don't have to. I get to consume both ideas, and use them as I will.


Both Barnett and Robb are champions of the minimalist rule set.

Both see jihad, and the jihad after next, as, well, dicks.

Both are pro-globalization with it's attendant disruptions and counterbalancing benefits.

Both offer solutions. Neither shrink from the task ahead.

I look at it this way: Barnett says we need to increase community policing efforts, passing property tax bonds to accomplish the task. Robb says we need to teach the dog to field strip an M4 Carbine.

Which one is right? Ask me in fifteen to twenty years (I'm lazy). My take away is that there's elements of truth in both approaches. Barnett is what we need to get off our ass and do, whereas Robb is what we may be kicked of our ass to go do. I don't see the nation state as the end all be all, and I don't see it withering on the vine. To many choices, and interest, involved.

We're at a fork in the road, and Barnett and Robb offer a road to travel. By action or inaction, we will choose.

(Note: this post makes no sense without reading both, great, books)

UPDATE: I'm adding this a few minutes on, but it's a separate thought, hence the "update" tag. Ultimately, for me, this is about killing a "way of war," one that exists outside the law. The varying forms of collectivisms, and their current birth child, islamism, exists outside the law of war. I mean, come on, we've seen the pictures of bloated bodies stuffed in oil barrels, the boneless face of suicide bombers, the tattered flesh of the sthondat's victims. Right? War inside the law is bad. War outside the law is beyond human comprehension. And yet, we see it everyday.

War outside the law is not Sparta. It.Is.Madness.


I'm a dead man walking. Seriously.

Today, I signed up for my first class in getting the old Advanced Degree in Politics and Stuff. I'm lazy, and conduct my life in a haphazard manner, so it wasn't until a few minutes ago that I finally pulled down the syllabus, to see what the class was all about. The Professor? Well, he's got a website that talks about "green" and "peace."

Noodle through my 'toons, above, and you'll see what I mean.

Dead man walking.

Youtube and MRAPs

Sometimes you just can't defend the dumb from the dumber.

Making the rounds today, starting with USFK Commander's B.B. Bell's announcement that youtube/myspace/etcspace would be banned from USFK computers. Fair enough. They drain bandwidth and interfere with military confunctionaters, right?


It got me thinking about these recent articles where all the HUMVEES in Iraq are going to be replaced by Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles. These MRAPs weren't even a glimmer in the eye of the Acquisition community, a few years back. They were, and remain, a commercial off the shelf solution between soft shelled meat wagons and less than stealthy main battle tanks. Taken from a South African design, and built in South Carolina, the MRAP is to ground forces what the General Atomics MQ-1 Predator is to the Air Force. Namely, a good idea found, not designed.

MRAPs are useful because they fill a capabilities gap on the kinetic battlefield. Same with the Predator, and her more lethal daughter, the Reaper. "Useless" products that found a niche.

Look, Chief Information Officers will always be "the Grinch who Stole Web 2.0." Always yammering on about storage and bandwidth. For my money, they'd do better outsourcing their departments to google (for storage and webbased collaboration) and some stateside provider (for bandwidth). Build security into the contract!

Instead, we get the good idea fairy reaching for the "block/websense/not on me network" button.


Over sixty percent of my brain resides on the web (I exaggerate) and having my access cut off would not just make me dumb, it is dumb.

Myspace/youtube etc. are COTS solutions to, currently, damaged information portals. You just have to know where to look.

My gut says this decision will be reversed.

(And yes, this is a different issue from the Blogger Destruction Act 2007 I spoke of earlier)

UPDATE: Sean posts on another rebel with a cause. Sometimes you just have to keep kicking. Otherwise, entropy wins. And that sucks.

UPDATE II: I swear I'm expressively dyslexic. Corrected MARP to MRAP.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Making the Cheese

Nice walk through, at "For Better or For Worse," on the making of the modern cartoon.

Man, that seems like hard work.

Harshing My Mellow

So I'm watching, and enjoying, and episode of the original Battlestar Galactica. Much more watchable than the new one, more in depth on Cylon Culture, more optimism, etc.

When the commercial sponsors came on, it was an ad for Colonial Penn Life Insurance.

I'm not in their cohort yet, but I get closer everyday.


I'm not a joiner (self-indulgence post)

I've volunteered exactly twice in my life, and look where it got me.

But, to put a mark on the wall, here's two organizations I aim to join:



Wish me luck.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Sweet veal

Picked up 3 1/2 pounds at the market. This recipe looks doable. Easily.

Monday's meal.

On the Road II

Nice day out.

The Science Fiction Museum. Great, but, well, a little light on exhibits. Still, liked seeing the wooden armrests on Kirk's NCC 1701 command chair (alas, no indoor photoging allowed).

OK. I thought we indulged Louis shamelessly. I was wrong.

Took in a couple of rotations on the Ballard Locks. Did not sing "Fifteen Miles on the Erie Canal." Not once.

Nearly attacked by a gang of geese. We avoided them. Violence rewarded.

All in all a nice day.

Driving home, the noos had a little snippet about Oprah getting an honorary degree from Howard University. Oprah commented that it was nice to be recognized by "your own." My wife thought that was racist.

Silly girl, it's just tribal.

Got home and tallied the destruction. We've never left Louis home, that long. Correction, my wife has never left Louis home alone for that long. He tore up a box of toothpicks, her cell phone holder, the toilet paper, a knife (??) and the letter 'n' and '<' key from her iBook.

We need to get that dog profiled. There's a message there, somewhere.

Until then, his butt gets detained, cage match style.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Curse of the Golden Flower

Yeah. I'm late to the game, but "Curse" is a bad ass film. Fight scenes that rival Lord of the Rings. Well worth the look.

Why I'll Never Go To Space:

Spandex. My body is just not built for wearing spandex.

Now, a pair of loose fitting pair of space slacks and a pulled out space shirt, that would do the job.

Cribbed B/B

On the road, today.

Saw a cute little blond granola girl in a Honda Inspire. She probably got 100 miles per gallon. Unfortunately, it seems she only got 45 miles per the hour. Now, I'm usually the guy who let's the Mack Trucks pass on the left, but even I had to pass her.

Saw my first, live, "9/11 WAS AN INSIDE JOB" sticker. Ha, ha, ha, ha. Freaks.

Biker gangs. They infest these parts. Always riding against traffic, against the lights and against any laws. Earphones on, long hair blocking their eyes, and a not quite healthy glow about them. Biker gangs. I fear them.

Anyways, that's what I saw, on the road today.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

The Domination of Qin and the resulting Grand Strategies

Man, I've got to find a good, historical, book on the Warring States:

Towards the end of the Warring States Period, the State of Qin became disproportionately powerful compared to the other six states. As a result, the policies of the six states became overwhelmingly oriented towards dealing with the Qin threat, with two opposing schools of thought: Hezong (合縱/合纵 pinyin: hézòng, "vertically linked"), or alliance with each other to repel Qin expansionism; and Lianheng (連橫/连横 pinyin: liánhéng, "horizontally linked"), or alliance with Qin to participate in its ascendancy. There were some initial successes in Hezong, though it eventually broke down. Qin repeatedly exploited the Lianheng strategy to defeat the states one by one. During this period, many philosophers and tacticians travelled around the states recommending the rulers to put their respective ideas into use. These "lobbyists" were famous for their tact and intellect, and were collectively known as Zonghengjia (縱橫家), taking its name from the two main schools of thought.

I'm a history geek.

Ft. Dix

Well, this thing at Ft. Dix. Where the jihadi-babies planned on massacring Soldiers?

Look, al-Qaeda is what, "the base" in Arabic. What we're starting to see is the "free-basing" of jihad. The spread.

At the end of the day, the Osama's and such will fade, as early adopters usually do. The threat will develop from a myriad of "insurrectionists", and come at us from many angles.

All that will unite them is al-Qaeda's way of war, even as we pose over the next year, some Hamlet debating "to war, or not war."

We can debate the question, but I think it's already been answered.

Random Thoughts

Been spending the last few days as a junior flunky to a senior corporate boss. Well worth it, you know, when you consider the fly on the wall effect.

Even more interesting was his divide between "education" and "training." Education is about thinking, training is about learning and implementing someone else's thinking.

To illustrate:

"Do you want your children to receive Sex Education or Sex Training?"

I found that funny.

But seriously, we do need to stop turning out "peace-loving" ecobots and get back to education.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

My wife makes me laugh...

And that's why I love her:

Her: "If we go to Africa [don't ask] can I volunteer?"

Me: "I guess."

Her: "Oh. Because I would really like to help. Not 'Angelina Jolie help', taking pictures, but really help."

Monday, May 7, 2007

"But it's just a robot!"

So are you.

From the Cat, a little bit more on the man/machine meld at the WAPO.

Even more startling than these machines' capabilities, however, are the effects they have on their friendly keepers who, for example, award their bots "battlefield promotions" and "purple hearts." "Ours was called Sgt. Talon," says Sgt. Michael Maxson of the 737th Ordnance Company (EOD). "We always wanted him as our main robot. Every time he was working, nothing bad ever happened. He always got the job done. He took a couple of detonations in front of his face and didn't stop working. One time, he actually did break down in a mission, and we sent another robot in and it got blown to pieces. It's like he shut down because he knew something bad would happen." The troops promoted the robot to staff sergeant -- a high honor, since that usually means a squad leader. They also awarded it three "purple hearts."

I know people who name their assigned weapons. Just happens. Robots will come of age on the battlefield. Everything does. War has the unintended effect of eliminating bull.

Soon (doing my best egghead voice) robots will save lives in addition to taking them.

Accelerating Change.

Small Pet Peeve

Calling people's cell phones and getting that "while you're waiting for so and so to answer, here's a selection of their favorite songs."

Just ring. 'Kay?

Sunday, May 6, 2007

It's all fun and games....

....until some RockPlanet looses 5/6ths of it's populations.


Read this Instapundit post, links and all.

Then go forth, multiply and be prosperous.

Call it a kitchen pass.

Leviathan and The Limitation

Johnny did you ever know that time keeps marching on
The coldest hour is the one comes just before the dawn

The devil's back in Georgia will you stand up to the test

Or will you let the devil be the best?

The Devil came back to Georgia.

On Leviathan. Some dood name Hobbes wrote about it, referencing some Biblical stuff, but it's Barnett that keeps it forefront in my mind.

Implicit in the concept of Leviathan, or baddest ass on the block, is that everyone keeps their killing to an acceptable level. In that manner, the kingdom can be saved. The Japanese SDF (no, not Super Dimension Fortress) becomes the rule, and not the exception. But out there, always, is the Leviathan. So when I stumble across articles like this one, on EUReferendum, I can't help but chuckle a bit:

Reviewing the specification, it is quite remarkable how sophisticated are the capabilities of these light attack aircraft, reinforcing our view that an advanced capability can be attained without necessarily acquiring overly expensive and complex platforms.

Rule, not exception. Feature, not a bug.

Just feels logical.

For the Leviathan?

Let the bodies hit the floor
Let the bodies hit the floor
Let the bodies hit the floor
Let the bodies hit the floor

Beaten, why for (why for)
Can't take much more
Here we go here we go here we go, now

One, nothing wrong with me
Two, nothing wrong with me
Three, nothing wrong with me
Four, nothing wrong with me

Lonely job, that.

The Cheese Gene

My wife and I are a "biracial" couple. We argue, fight and love. Differences are few. For example, we both fear hippies.

But when it comes to cheese, well, I just don't get it. We bought some bread/mushroom/brie cheese combination.

The wife: "this is not food for the belly, it's food for the soul!"

Me, not so much. Cheese should only be used to compliment meat.

If there is a genetic component to races, I believe the answer will be found in the Cheese Gene.

An Election Event Horizon

Sometime between now, and when the sun explodes, we Merkins will engage in our next Presidential Election. Right now, I'm not invested in the process. Too early. But I thought I'd give my rundown of the current crop of candidates candidating, based on memory, at this time:

HILLARY CLINTON: The constitution limits a person to two terms as President, even by proxy. Nice try.

RON PAUL: No dude with two two first names has ever been elected President. No dude with two first names will ever be elected President. What part of "no dude with two first names" do you not understand?

MITT ROMNEY: Too white.

BARACK OBAMA: Too black.

JOHN MCCAIN: This. Ain't. Sparta!!!

RUDY GUILEEANEE: Same problem that plagues Kaddafi. Spelling.

FRED THOMPSON: Still waiting the sweet, sweet sound of implosions.

JOE BIDEN. Joe Biden.

MIKE GRAVEL: Great columnist for the Boston Globe, back when. But I don't think he's still relevant.

WOSSISNAME: Probably has the best chance.

Actually, that's all I can remember, these last two weeks. Back to my black hole.

A Slumbering Giant of Middling Height, Awakes!!!

Well, it looks like Nicolas Sarkozy will be the next President of the Metropolitan. That island around Paris (you may call it France) has delivered a sharp rebuke to the Enarques, and handed Sarkozy a mandate. Which will probably disappoint Sarko. Word is, he prefers women.

It's fun to bash the French. I do it often. But I do it out of the realization that what divides us from the French is a lot smaller than what unites us. We both go in for liberte, egalite, fraternite and high definition television. Our revolutions occurred around the same time. And we both prefer red, white and blue.

The difference? The Franks empowered the State. We empowered the Individual.

When shooting at a twenty five meter target, the slightest twitch at the barrel can cause you to miss the mark entirely.

Here's to hoping the Franks learn to shoot straight, this time around. Europe doesn't need a new Nationalist party. She's in desperate need of a new Rationalist Party.

Let the riots begin. In the banlieues and on W. 43rd Street.

Things I thought everyone knew

(Nous sont tous chicks.)

I read alot of science fiction. One of the themes you come across is some sort of post human race, where everyone's a babe. Dan Simmons touched on such a theme in his Ilium/Olympus duology.

Makes sense. We all start out as female, until the old Y Chromosome kicks into self preservation mode.

Basically, the gonads, or 'nads, if you prefer, develop from a cluster of cells somewhere around the chest. As the embryo develops, the 'nads move south. Well, that's when you get what will become the birth canal starting, and the development of ovaries. The Y Chromosome overrides this process, and you start to see differentiation in the male of the species. A unit develops, and you get the keys to dad's car. Absent the Y Chromosome, you get invagination and start fretting over who's taking you to the prom.

All balances out, and you get a roughly fifty/fifty mix of male and females.

That's why I was interested in reading the this new Hate Crime legislation. Some of the commentators were saying it defined twenty-five odd different definitions of gender and sexuality. Man, I thought, that's interesting. I wondered how they got at all those combinations?

Alas, it doesn't.

Basically, it's just boring boilerplate.

Don't get me wrong, it's a crap law. But not for what's been said about it. But because it empowers the government, yet again, to do stuff.

Check out the yea/nay map, though. Further evidence of the Heathen/Urbanite divide:

Great Idea

Via Boing Boing, I see that a Japanese company has come up with a way for heating rice by, get this, adding water. Seems it's going to have some humanitarian applications. Looks a little bulky:

The HDR meets all the caloric needs of one person, per day, comes with it's own heater and does not use soylent green, for all the culturally squeamish out there.

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